A former FBI lawyer who was vehemently anti-Trump will plead guilty to falsifying a record to obtain a wiretap extension as part of the Russia probe, a report said Friday.
The lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, will plead guilty to falsifying an e-mail that the CIA used to justify a 2017 wiretap on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser, the New York Times reported, citing three people familiar with the case.
Clinesmith will plead guilty as part of an investigation into the Russia probe by prosecutor John Durham, who is reviewing whether the investigation was politically motivated.
Clinesmith is expected to plead guilty to one felony count of making a false statement, according to the report.
A wiretap on Page — a businessman who would sometimes pass information to the CIA — had been approved in 2016 by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court because investigators suspected Russian spies might try to target him, according to the Times.
Page had previously passed information to the CIA about his contacts with Russia as part of his work as an energy executive, according to the report.
His relationship with the spy agency may have kept him off the FBI’s radar as a potential cooperator with Russia’s attempt to interfere in the 2016 election. FBI officials were told of his cooperation with the CIA in a 2016 e-mail, the Times reported.
But his relationship with the CIA was downplayed by FBI officials who prepared documents to request he be wiretapped.
When the agency was seeking a third renewal of the tap, an FBI official asked Clinesmith for a clear answer if Page had been a source for the spy agency, according to the Times.
Clinesmith responded that he was “never a source” and altered the CIA’s e-mail to falsely show that, according to the Times.
His doctoring of the e-mail was a crime, according to the prosecutor probing the Russia investigation.
Clinesmith was removed from the Russia investigation after lead prober Robert Mueller discovered he’d shared anti-Trump sentiments.
In text messages, Clinesmith slammed Trump and his supporters, writing to another FBI official: “I honestly feel like there is going to be a lot more gun issues, too, the crazies won finally. This is the Tea Party on steroids. And the GOP is going to be lost.”
“Viva le resistance,” he wrote in another.
Source: New York Post
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